Electric scooters at Hietaniemi beach on a summer Saturday, July 15, 2023. LEHTIKUVA

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Helsinki is setting new parking guidelines for electric scooters and shared bicycles starting this spring, particularly focusing on areas outside the city center, around metro and train stations. The move, beginning on March 28, 2024, introduces geofenced parking restrictions in key locations including Pasila, Hakaniemi, Sörnäinen, and Kalasatama, among others, as part of the city's efforts to organize the electric scooter season.

A map of the locations of the new restricted areas in Helsinki. / A parking area in the city centre's restricted area.

The city's administration, in collaboration with scooter operators, has decided to implement these changes through geofencing. This technology will define specific areas in the operators' apps where parking is permitted, especially near stations, to streamline the parking process and address public feedback regarding scooter clutter and safety concerns.

Heikki Palomäki, head of the relevant unit at the City of Helsinki, highlighted the necessity of these changes, citing significant public feedback about the disorder caused by indiscriminately parked scooters near busy stations. "We've noticed a demand for more organized parking solutions around our metro and train stations to alleviate congestion and improve safety for all pedestrians," Palomäki explained.

In response to this feedback, the city plans to introduce visibly marked parking spots near high-traffic stations like Pasila and Hakaniemi. Meanwhile, less busy stations will guide users to virtual parking zones via the scooter companies' apps, aiming for a gradual implementation of these parking areas throughout the season, starting with the aforementioned locations along with Herttoniemi.

Furthermore, Helsinki will continue to enforce a restricted parking zone in the city center, where five major operators—Voi, Tier, Ryde, Bird, and Bolt—will operate under new guidelines. Adjustments to parking spots within the central zone have been made based on community feedback. This restricted zone initiative, which was first implemented in 2023, has reportedly led to a decrease in the number of shared electric scooters in the city center, reflecting positively in public sentiment and city aesthetics.

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